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Utah Drops Plan To Purchase Malaria Treatments To Treat Coronavirus

Utah has halted plans to buy 200,000 treatments of malaria drugs that have been widely touted by President Donald Trump for treating the new coronavirus despite warnings from doctors.

Republican Governor Gary Herbert said Friday the state’s legal counsel is reviewing the circumstances around the planned $8 million purchase from local pharmacy Meds in Motion. A previous $800,000 purchase of hydroxychloroquine from the same company is also being probed.

Herbert announced the “Bottom line is, we’re not purchasing any more of this drug.”

A review by The Associated Press found Utah was one of a very few states that had spent money on the drug. Many others have received it through donations or from the federal stockpile. Herbert’s decision comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned doctors against prescribing the drug outside of hospitals or research settings, flagging reports of sometimes fatal heart side effects among coronavirus patients.

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